Hispanic agency Bromley and the year-old relationship marketing company, both part of the MacManus Group, have worked for several months to develop the new direct-marketing venture.
"No one has truly put together a strong direct agency to minorities, especially Hispanics," said Ernest Bromley, chairman-CEO. "The requests [from clients for direct marketing] were becoming more and more frequent and we wanted to organize something and do this right."
BROMLEY HEADS VENTURE
The joint venture initially will be headed by Mr. Bromley and DialogueWorks co-presidents Trissie Rost and Brian Dougherty. It will be based in San Antonio and staffed by three employees from each company.
The companies will start working with existing clients immediately. Eventually the venture hopes to serve clients throughout the network of agencies formed by the pending MacManus and Leo Group merger.
"As we take a look at this venture and look at how large the Hispanic marketplace is today -- 11% of the total population -- it is a tremendous segment," Mr. Dougherty said. "We think it has tremendous potential."
Advertisers in categories ranging from package goods to financial services are likely to be interested in direct mail and database services for the Hispanic market, he said.
MEETING THE DEMAND
"Hispanics haven't been tapped very much by the direct marketers especially compared to Anglo households," Mr. Bromley said.
A 1998 survey of 1,700 Hispanic consumers conducted by Simmons Market Research for Draft WorldWide found that 40% of Hispanic consumers received just 10 direct mail pieces annually, 72% said they always read the mail they receive and 33% want to receive more mail.
The low direct-mail saturation should help clients get their sales pitch to the right person, Ms. Rost said.
"It's a little easier to break into that clutter and get the relevant messaging to speak directly to [Hispanics] in order to get them to open that envelope," she said.